The Hotchkiss School Wins WPI Math Meet

October 24, 2013

They came. They saw. They conquered math problems.

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Nearly 100 public and private high schools from New England totaling about 400 students participated in WPI’s 26th Annual Invitational Mathematics Meet on Tuesday, Oct. 22. And when the results were in – when all of the sines and cosines were aligned – the Hotchkiss School of Lakeville, Conn., took first place honors.

So what does it feel like to place first in the Math Meet?

"I'm glad that our work paid off," said Tony Zhang, a junior at Hotchkiss. "The problems were interesting and challenging, and there were elegant facts that we discovered within them."

Spoken like a true math expert.

For Hotchkiss, which placed second in last year’s team competition, collaboration was key to their success.

"The most interesting aspect was working with other members on the team round," said Wendy Yu Xuan Hong, a senior. "We checked each other's problems and developed strategies to be able to get the problems done. It was a really good collaborating experience."

Other members of the winning team were seniors Onza Janyaprasert and Emma Yuwei Xu. The winners received $1,000 scholarships to WPI, a plaque commemorating their efforts as well as WPI sweatshirts. In addition to the team round, there were individual competitions as well.

The Kent School of Kent, Conn., placed second in the team competition; Worcester Academy was the third-place finisher.

John Goulet, a WPI math professor and director of the Math Meet Committee, said the event serves as a reaffirmation of the Department of Mathematical Science’s commitment to K-12 outreach.

"We're encouraging and reinforcing the interests of mathematically talented students," said Goulet. "Their involvement in the problem-solving that competitions like this require is an important part of their mathematics education."

Goulet also noted that the competition "…could not happen without the considerable efforts of their team advisors, which are well beyond the normal call of duty."

Rounding out the top 10 team winners, in order of finishing, were the Advanced Math & Science Academy of Marlborough, Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, the Groton School, Westborough High School, Westford Academy, St. Mark’s School in Southborough, and Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, Conn.